From supply chains to marketing campaigns, digital transformation permeates all aspects of the organisation, transforming the way we work and engage customers. By improving workplace efficiency and productivity, it also frees up resources to let businesses focus on what matters most: delivering exceptional customer experiences.

At the core of this transformation is the easy retrieval of critical information, which help employees and business leaders alike make better, informed decisions. But with information lying in disparate data sources and endless paper trails, it’s integral that businesses digitise their processes and paper workflows—and thus facilitate better performance. While it may seem trivial, digitisation can have a massive impact on the way we work and collaborate.

But how does digital transformation help organisations—both big and small—adopt a more customer-centric approach to business? Here are some ways:

Enhance efficiency

Digitisation allows businesses to be much more efficient, and establish high customer responsiveness. This is key to customer satisfaction—and can nurture customer relationships and brand loyalty in the long run.

Digital archiving, for instance, helps businesses to better manage files and information via systems and software that are set in place, while dramatically reducing time spent on processing and managing documents. Organisational tools and tags also accelerates the search for and retrieval of important details, including data that lay within the oldest files. This eliminates precious minutes—even hours—from sifting through drawers and folders to meet time-sensitive requests.

Facilitate mobility

With the proliferation of mobile devices, many businesses are keen to pursue mobility initiatives, which lets workers stay productive even when on the go. Since digital documents are not confined to any location or device, digitisation perfectly complements such initiatives. This is more so when they are accessible via most mobile devices; some are even small enough to fit right into your pocket.

With digital documentation and cloud systems, employees can access much-needed files anytime, anywhere—and promptly respond to urgent customer requests.

Strengthen security

In today’s evolving threat landscape, safeguarding customer data is a massive responsibility, since failure to do so result in the violation of customer trust. But with digitisation, businesses can defend against most security breaches by encrypting confidential information. In addition, digital documents can be securely archived, with access restricted to authorised parties only. Businesses are also able to back up their customer’s data, which will be protected against accidents and natural disasters

Reinforce collaboration

Collaboration can also be more effective with digitisation. Unlike paper documents, digital documents are structured data, which means their information are stored and organised within a database—and are therefore highly searchable. When converting physical documents to digital formats, looking for the necessary information is easier and more convenient than having to go through stacks of papers—a boon for teams collaborating on multiple projects. Not only can they share access on various documents, they can also edit, control versions, and manage the entire documents’ lifecycle.

Reallocate resources

Over 5 million ton of paper each year ends up in the landfill. That’s why when documents, such as invoices and contracts, are scanned and digitised, businesses will see significant reduction in paper costs, storage space, and even the amount of physical waste. In turn, the additional expenses that would otherwise be incurred by these endeavors can be invested into bettering the customer experience.

To thrive in today’s competitive marketplace, businesses have to relook the way they carry out customer care, while keeping in mind the increasingly demanding needs of modern consumers. Only by implementing a digital workplace can companies hone their competitive edge—and deliver the outstanding services customers have come to expect in this digital era. Start with finding out more about automating workflows and processes—a crucial step in digital transformation.

This piece is adapted from a previous article, “Digital Transformation and Its Impact on Customer Care”, published on 4th November 2016.